September is Dementia Awareness Month.
To celebrate enjoying life even if one has dementia, Group Homes Australia, innovative ‘modern forward thinking’ disruptor in the aged and dementia care industry, has hired a Silent Disco, complete with, silent disco instructor, disco balls, coloured lights and flashing dancing shoes.
Golden Oldies, dancing shoes and plenty of lights and sparkle kick in Dementia Awareness Month and enjoying life with dementia.
Founder of Group Homes Australia, Tamar Krebs, says:
“There is still no cure this year so people with dementia need to be able to celebrate and enjoy life as much as they can.
The Silent Disco takes place every fortnight. Dementia residents from each home can attend the silent disco.”
Music helps dementia patients remember memories and emotions. Music can shift mood, manage stress and stimulate positive interactions. Music activates both sides of the brain. Tamar adds:
“Music brings people alive. It creates emotions and memories. Music helps people feel good. We all feel good when we put on music and have a dance. It lights up different parts of the brain. It leaves residents with positive emotions and they know that they have had a positive, fun experience. The Silent Disco is a fun dance class. It’s gym for the body and the brain.”
The GHA philosophy is all about living well and celebrating life with dementia which is why Tamar Krebs decided to implement the Silent Disco.
12 to 15 residents are sitting quietly on couches and chairs in one of the Group Homes Australia homes.
The dance teacher from Disco D’Tours enters the room kitted with brightly coloured clothing and flashing light filled shoes.
“We have a surprise for you. We are doing Move and Groove. Listening to songs you have enjoyed over time and doing moves all under the disguise of dance. Those who want to stay seated that is fine and those who want to dance that is fine. We are going to relax and have fun. We are going to pop some head phones on.”
The residents reactions to the music that filled their headphones, ears and memories was priceless. As soon as one lady, Helen, popped on her head phones she started to dance in her chair. Another resident, Joyce, was hesitant at first about why she was coming but after donning the headphones and letting the music sink in, she started to smile and relax.
The residents moved and grooved. They stood up out of their chairs, faces beaming and bodies rocking to the music.
Some favourite songs include Frank Sinatra, Somewhere Over The Rainbow and The Hokey Pokey. Tamar concludes:
“In a few hours time none of them will remember the silent disco but they will remember a positive experience. They will experience the benefits of movement and music for many hours after the dancing and singing experience. They don’t need memory to be happy.”